updated 02/12/04

the revised devil's dictionary 


recommended reading



The Man Who Found Time
James Hutton and the Discovery of the Earth's Antiquity

Jack Repcheck


Perseus Publishing
ISBN 0-7382-0602-X  $26.00

This is one of the best written books I've encountered in the last decade. Highly readable and one gets an intense image of the times in which Hutton lived and worked. Buy it--you won't regret it.

In this beautifully written and irresistible little book, Jack Repcheck clarifies the life and times of a forgotten scientific visionary--James Hutton--arguably the discoverer of the vast ages that stretch back into the Earth's dim past."

Walter Alverez
author of T. Rex and the Crater of Doom



Captured : The Japanese Internment of American Civilians


Frances B. Cogan

The University of Georgia Press

Captured is an important and powerful piece of World War II history, as well as a fascinating human interest story, and offers a foundation on which broader studies of international internments might be made.  This is no other book that  attempts as much coverage.

by Carol M. Petillo, 
author of Douglas MacArthur: The Philippine Years



The Missionary Position:  Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice

Christopher Hitchens

Verso, $15.00
 ISBN: 1-85984-054-X

Hitchens examines the media persona of the well known Catholic nun and pulls no punches in an assessment of the drives, motives and methods of this important religious figure.  You may think he's overstated his case but you will be hard pressed not to admit that this candidate for sainthood is not the pristine figure of mercy and Christian charity that the world has been told.  Highly recommended.

Is nothing sacred?  Well, no . . . a witty, informative study in applied iconoclasm.
In These Times

A dirty job but someone had to do it.  By the end of this elegantly written, brilliantly argued piece of polemic, it is not looking good for Mother Teresa.
Sunday Times (London)

Anyone with ambivalent feelings about the influence of Catholic dogma (especially concerning sex and procreation); about the media's manufacture of images; or about what one can, should or shouldn't do for someone less fortunate, should read this book.
San Francisco Bay Guardian



Are Universes Thicker Than Blackberries?
Discourses on Gödel, Magic Hexagrams, Little Red Riding Hood, and Other Mathematical and Pseudoscience Topics


Martin Gardner

ISBN 0-393-05742-9  $25.95

Martin Gardner is one of the great intellects produced in this country in this century.
Douglas Hofstadter

Even as Gardner exposes the foolishness and cruelties of phony science, he praises with awe and wonder the work of true science in revealing . . . the natural world.
Los Angeles Times

Martin Gardner's contributions to contemporary intellectual culture is unique--in its range, and its understanding of hard questions that matter.
Noam Chomsky



The Rape of Nanking:  The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II.

Iris Chang

Basic Books, $22.00
 ISBN: 0465068359

In her important new book, The Rape of Nanking, Iris Chang, whose own grandparents were survivors, recounts the grisly massacre with understandable outrage.
Orville Schell
The New York Times Book Review


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